Soundcheck: Poor Heart, Crimes of the Mind (with The Dude of Life), Bitchin' Again (with The Dude of Life)

SET 1: Wilson > Foam, Runaway Jim, Guelah Papyrus, Llama, Fee, The Squirming Coil > Poor Heart > The Sloth, Divided Sky, Golgi Apparatus

SET 2: The Curtain > Reba > Chalk Dust Torture, Bouncing Around the Room > Tweezer > Esther > Cavern, I Didn't Know, You Enjoy Myself[1], Rocky Top

SET 3: Stash, Ya Mar, Fluffhead > Lawn Boy > My Sweet One, The Lizards, Buried Alive[2] > Possum

ENCORE: Magilla, Self[3], Bitchin' Again[4], Crimes of the Mind[5]

ENCORE 2: Harry Hood

This was a free show. YEM and Possum featured I Love Lucy theme teases. YEM also featured an infamous "no gerbils in your bottom" vocal jam. The theme from Rawhide was also quoted in the vocal jam. Buried Alive featured Jamie Janover on didgeridoo. Self, Bitchin' Again, and Crimes of the Mind (the last two Phish debuts) featured The Dude of Life, and Bitchin' Again also featured Sofi Dillof. Self was played for the first time since September 13, 1990 (121 shows). Mike and Fish teased Shoeless Joe before set three and the encore. Trey teased Rhythm-A-Ning in Magilla.
Jam Chart Versions
Theme from I Love Lucy and Theme from Rawhide teases in You Enjoy Myself, Theme from I Love Lucy tease in Possum, Shoeless Joe tease, Rhythm-A-Ning tease in Magilla
Debut Years (Average: 1988)

Show Reviews

, attached to 1991-08-03

Review by BadPorkChop

BadPorkChop Something recently made me think about old times and I'd thought I'd share some good memories. Friends from Johnson College in Vermont turned me on to Phish about a year before and I had already been to a few shows before making the trek up to Maine for this show. We camped out overnight the day before the show. I remember Mike (I think) riding a motorcycle around the area people were car camping that night and hanging out a bit. It was very low key but people were having a good time throughout the evening. A short walk through the woods the next day to the field where a small stage was setup. Only two or three hundred people at the most but it might have seemed that way because of the size of the field. There were lots of people sitting on blankets and I was struck by the sight of all sorts of paraphernalia out in the open. Felt like a family affair with so many people connected in some way to the band although I remember plenty of non- Vermonters like myself. No adult supervision or outsiders. It felt like only people in the know. Very hot day as evidenced by Fish's pre-show announcement to be careful not to set grass/hay on fire. Not the best musically but I do count it as one of my fondest Phish memories. Also, Amy riding around on a horse made an impression. This was the show that convinced me that I should follow Phish west on the fall '91 tour where I caught every show from The Colonial Theater in NH to Colorado... but that's a whole other story.
, attached to 1991-08-03

Review by The_Ghost

The_Ghost This is currently my most, "Wish I had been there" show. It seems from listening to it that the atmosphere was amazing. When the crowd is told at set break to, "Do what you want" because, "No one is going to bother you here" I just can't even imagine how cool that must have been.

The overall show seemed to be fairly laid back, no excessive heavy jamming. I did not like the Dude of Life encore set, though I do like the song - Self - and - Crimes of the Mind - I just don't like the voice of that dude.

I laughed out loud at Trey telling people to get directions from the burrito truck! Trey does love those burritos.

I could be wrong, but I read about this show once in a book written by a guy that followed Phish around for a bit as his job as a writer for RS mag (could be WAY wrong, memory is foggy) He said that there was a party after the show but then it started raining on all the equipment. Not sure if this is the same free show at Amy's Farm or not.

Anyway a great show and well worth a listen.
, attached to 1991-08-03

Review by TwiceBitten

TwiceBitten Surprised there are no reviews of this somewhat legendary show. It's a really great window into where Phish was at in the first third of their career. I could say some things about the music, but all you'll ever need to know is enclosed in this blog post from the 20 year anniversary. Read up:
, attached to 1991-08-03

Review by Penn42

Penn42 This is definitely among the strongest Phish I have heard from '91; great songs, fun solos, and wonderful youthful excitement and energy abound. As far as the jamming goes, there really is much to comment on. At this point in their career they hadn't yet charged ahead of their peers when it came to the jamming. They were playing well, and had a great repertoire, but all the jamming is straight-foward guitar-driven wanking, which is fine and quite enjoyable. Don't get me wrong, they had planted the seeds of something great, and that shows, but nothing truly special had culminated yet.

The setlist for this show is huge! My favorite parts are Poor Heart (Trey is really well practiced and rips those bluegrass licks like it's nothing), YEM (the vocal solo is quite humorous), the last three songs of the first encore (It's fun to hear them play with some good friends. Also, Crimes is really a damn strong little rock tune, I always enjoy it when it pops up.), and the Hood, which surprised me and is quite strong. Everything else is played well too, those are just the parts that I was inclined to comment on.

This is a great showcase of very early 90's Phish. Heartily recommended!
, attached to 1991-08-03

Review by kiblinger

kiblinger My memory of this show is very foggy at this point, but I do know at the end I had to hitch back to Burlington. At the exit gate I caught a ride with two guys in a nondescript four-door sedan (maybe a Chrysler?). Their names were Rick and Elosha (no idea if I am spelling that right). I drove a good bit of the way as they were exhausted. Where are those guys now I wonder?
, attached to 1991-08-03

Review by Weezy

Weezy Great show, bundle joy actually. Phriends and Phamily in a Phield. Although it was very hot for the first two sets during the day, they rolled in a tanker truck full of water and sprayed us down, lots of phun, dancing, phrollicking, and just celebrating with the band and the Vermonster Phamily. Camping scene was laid back, with a some local music setting up and playing after hours. This show really marked a turning point in the bands history of free shows. Phantastic memories of days of yore but I am never going back there and I couldn't if I tried because I come from the Land of Lizards...
, attached to 1991-08-03

Review by MrPalmers1000DollarQ

MrPalmers1000DollarQ Five years before Clifford Ball, Phish and their loyal cronies made the trek out to Auburn, Maine for what one could argue was the first ever Phish festival. Videos of all three sets are easily found on YouTube and worth checking out. Something about watching the dozens of in-frame fans, all shirtless to boogie, and the beaming smile on Trey's face is extremely heartwarming. Obviously the band had been on a steadily upward trajectory in terms of expanding their footprint, deepening the repertoire, and defining/refining their sound for a few years at this point, but this destination festival-esque show seems to mark a turning point where the career acceleration kicked up a notch. From a retrospective point of view, the band was hot off the heels of a great summer tour with Giant Country Horns and would soon hit the road again for a great Fall tour that would introduce many soon-to-be fan-favorite tunes, put on a killer New Year's show, and release a third killer album, A Picture of Nectar. Perhaps I'm projecting, but I love to think of this show as a way to celebrate all the accomplishments of *early* Phish and usher in the next major chapter.

Musically, the show boasts a fantastic setlist that covers most of the regular heavy-hitters in rotation at the time, plus a special Dude of Life encore set. From the top of Set 1, Trey's having a blast and carries Wilson, Foam, and Jim to great heights. The Divided Sky here (available on Live Bait Vol. 5) is an excellent early edition with ancestral ties to later 94 craziness. In Set 2, we get a really cool and groovy Reba jam that evolves into an emotional blaze very quickly. YEM begins a little rocky for Trey, but man all four boys absolutely rip the jam, including a super memorable VJ. From here, Fluffhead and Harry Hood standout for their phenomenal outro jams, each full of the vigorous joy I associate with this show and this chapter of the band's journey.
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